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Saturday, 15 Apr 2017 19:02 EATabdirahmancajab@gmail.com
A 34-year-old dental health expert has thrown his hat into the race for Wagalla/Ganyure ward representative position in the Wajir County Assembly with the sole purpose of contributing to the transformation of healthcare in this region.
Ali Abdirahman Haji alias Ali Dentist, who is running on the Party of National Unity ticket, told this writer in an interview that he wants to use the legislative position of member of the county assembly to push for legislation and policies that will address the underdeveloped state of healthcare in Wajir by helping the county government look at health projects holistically.
He said the absence of healthcare experts in the assembly had led to a slow pace of development, decrying that some government programmes were being promoted at the expense of ones that would have the quickest impact on the lives of residents.
"We have seen around the country that so many MCAs sought to impeach their governors, but for me I know that part of the problem was due to poor legislation, with laws allowing governors to tinker with due process and funds earmarked for projects. With proper legislation and targeted budgeting, the governors would be sufficiently checked and there would be no need for impeachment," he said.
Born at Harti in what is now Bokola Location of Griftu, Ali Dentist studied primary at Bula Hothan Primary School between 1988-1995, then went to high school at Sabunley Secondary between 1996-1999. From there, he did a diploma course in community oral health at the Kenya Medical Training College, graduating in 2004.
He subsequently undertook a degree in Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from Mount Kenya University, graduating in 2015, while working at different stations including Malindi District Hospital as dental practitioner, Mombasa Provincial Hospital and more recently Wajir County Referral Hospital, from where he has resigned to join politics.
"I joined politics because through political leadership I want to solve the problems of common man. Our problems eminate mostly from lack of quality leadership; we don't have leaders care for the people.
"As a county representative, I can solve problems that touch the lives of people directly, I can help services reach to people down in the village and safeguard people's money from embezzlement by exercising supervision of budgets by the county government. I am a strong believer in team spirit and I will also enhance citizens participation in governance," he said.
Among his priority areas will be promotion of youth and women empowerment, given the two sectors comprise a large section of the Wajir society and are most in need of economic opportunities. He wants to do this by promoting small enterprises and cooperative societies so the people can be helped in diversifying livelihoods and generating alternative income apart from livestock rearing.
The aspiring MCA also said he will focus on fighting corruption by sealing legal loopholes through which county resources get wasted, and in this area he will put priority in expenditure targeting.
Ali, like many aspiring politicians from Wajir, is all praise for devolution, which he said had helped undercut the overbearing influence of national politicians on local politics. "A long time ago its through national government we used to get development, hence reliance on patronage networks to achieve even little projects with this devolution the resource and decision-making is now with us," he said.
Abdirahman Rashid Farah is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County